Tuesday, January 1, 2013

City Council salary increase likely to be considered

Posted By on Tue, Jan 1, 2013 at 9:35 AM

City Council
  • City Council

Yep, it's true.

A coalition that includes a group of young professionals and Independent publisher John Weiss will ask Council next week to consider adding a question to the April city ballot to raise Councilors’ salaries.

Tony Gioia, 36, a member of the Regional Business Alliance's Rising Professionals group, says Council pay should be increased to between 40 and 50 percent of the mayor’s $96,000 salary, and Councilors should receive the same benefits as other city employees.

Gioia says he’s spoken with five of the nine Councilors and believes there is enough support to put the question on the ballot.

If approved, only Councilors elected in 2015 or later would see a pay raise, meaning no sitting Councilor would immediately benefit. If the increase went into effect, half of Council salaries would be paid by the city and half by Colorado Springs Utilities, as long as Council remained the Utilities Board.

Currently, City Councilors are paid just $6,250 annually, though many say they devote 40 or more hours a week to the job.

Gioia says it’s important to raise Council salaries to allow more young and working people to seek office, without worrying about paying bills.

“We want to make it so we have a fair Council, that we can actually compete in,” he said.

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